13 April 2019 | Jolly Harbor, Antigua
To go places you have never been before, to experience new adventures, to break the chains of normal everyday living, to do something different just because you can are all reason for entering the cruising community.
The experiences are usually good but sometimes offer challenges you never expected. How you rise to the occasion to solve these trials determines if you want to stay with this lifestyle.
I have not been to St. Martin in over four years. In that time period many of the buildings on the island were destroyed by hurricanes. They are rebuilding but it is a slow process. The beaches are still beautiful, restaurants that have been able to reopen are still delicious, and the people are friendly. One of the best patisseries on the Island opened again while I was here. I wasn’t the first in line but pretty close. The simple pleasures in life.
The marina and working boat yards are in full work operation. When I left Grenada I had to have a survey or inspection done on Mile High Dream before I could get insurance for her. There were some definite concerns about the standing rigging that holds up the mast. I did some emergency repairs while in Grenada so I could start my sailing season. Once I arrived in /St. Martin I was able to have all of my standing rigging replaced while the boat was here.
After my wonderful snow break to Colorado I came back to be able to share the joys of sailing with a couple from Boulder and some of their friends. We explored new anchorages and visited some I had experienced before. They got to experience a part of this special cruising life.
My family (my brother and sister and their spouses) joined me in St. Martin and we explored countries new to all of us. Saba was our first new country. A volcano rising straight out of the water leads to difficult challenges for the legs as we walk up the 23% grade to the first town.
St Kitts is our next stop. I have spent one day on this island before and now we are anchored here for a few nights to allow for exploring. My sister’s friend had been here on a cruise and said one of the highlights of her trip was the train ride around the Island. We traveled on the narrow gauge railroad that was built to transport sugar cane from the farms to the factories. It did not disappoint us.
The last leg was a long sail with family through rough seas from St. Kitts to Antigua. The 40 mile 12 hour slog ended with dropping anchor after dark into the bay at Jolly harbor. The week was magical with laughs and new experiences sharing as a family. What a wonderful gift it is.
Antigua brings back many memories spent with lots of cruisers. Some if my closest cruising friends I met here for the first time. Over the years our paths have crossed many times and some have have sailed to far away islands and other I will look forward to sailing with again. Others have left this sailing world hopefully to be sailing in another dimension. It is the people you meet creating new bonds and family that you get to share this with that is truly the magic of this sailing lifestyle.
This blog is dedicated to those I’ve sailed with that are no longer physical with us but will always be part of our lives. My wife Mary, my friend Cherry and a good friend Mark who died earlier this week. I cherish the time I’ve shared with them.